07:24 1st April 2007
His heart hammered in his chest as he slowly, quietly moved through the darkened corridor and traced his way carefully down the steps. He had to be so careful not to be discovered, so much weighed on his actions that it shook him to his very core.
He shook the basket back and fore as he moved, scattering more and more of the rich red, yellow and white petals around him as he made his way outside to a circle of candles. Lowering the basket and picking up the violin he took a deep breath as he positioned himself and raised the instrument to his shoulder, shaking the arm holding the bow to loosen the muscles.
He’d spent months learning this in secret and was convinced that she had suspicions about his recent actions. He had tried to be careful and discreet but she knew him far too well. He waited as the sun crested over the buildings, took a deep breath and pulled the bow over the strings, releasing the harmonies into the air.
As the music took him he could imagine her slowly coming round from sleep, drowsily rubbing her eyes. Andrew had kept her out partying late last night and no doubt she was sleep-muddled and bleary. He almost smiled as he saw her in his mind’s eye, reaching out for the clock and yet again knocking over the glass of water she always failed to drink before dropping off. This was way too early for her. He looked up at her window, waiting for the drapes to move as she was still trying to figure out why there was music coming from outside at this godawful hour.
The curtains twitched and this time he smiled widely as she looked out and down at him, her shoulders dropping and eyes raised upward in exasperation at yet another of his silly romantic foibles. As the curtains dropped he lowered his head once more to the music, pouring everything he had into it.
As the minutes passed he imagined her clambering through the flat, muttering darkly to herself whilst trying to stop herself from grinning, stopping at her door, briefly confused at all the petals covering the floor.
His heart was erratic now and he could feel it skipping beats as she got closer, leaving the building and walking towards him. She stopped at the edge of the candles, the flickering lights starting to fade in the growing sunlight, and crossed her arms. He met her gaze and loved the smile she was desperately trying to hide as she crossed her arms in mock indignation and stood watching him.
He brought the music to a close with a cheeky little flourish, and bowed deeply.
"I have neighbours you know."
He nodded as knelt down to return the violin to its case and then moved to face her, staying down on one knee as he looked up and slid a hand into his pocket.
Her eyes widened in stunned shock as she watched him, gaze locked on his hand as he pulled the small red velvet box from his jacket, opened it and presented it to her.
The early morning sun glinted off the diamond in the box and her gaze finally moved to his. Time stopped for him.
"’Bird? Will you marry me?"